Indie Rockers Braid Return with Superb ‘No Coast’


No Coast (Topshelf)

Initially, this emo band out of Champaign, Ill., had a short six-year run before calling it quits in 1999. But like many bands that emerge before their time, the group's back catalogue started to attract new fans in the wake of its dismissal. The band reformed in 2011 and No Coast represents its first full-length album of new material in 16 years. The disc kicks off with the heady "Bang," a tune that features the kind of off-kilter time signatures and hushed vocals for which the group is known. If it seems a bit on the sleepy side, the band perks up for hard rocking tunes such as "East End Hollows" and "Pre-Evergreen," the latter of which could pass as a Foo Fighters song. Hardcore fans will probably think these tunes aren't angular enough but they do show the extent to which band members have evolved as musicians. The intricate guitar work at times recalls that of Dinosaur Jr. and while the music can be a bit precious at times, songs such as "Damages!" and the rollicking, "Put Some Wings on That Kid" suggest the band's learned to let its hair down.